22-year-old Latino Shot And Killed By Police As He Was Kneeling
Police shot him five times as he was kneeling.
An officer thought he saw what appeared to be a gun. It turned out to be a hammer.
Yesterday, a policeman in Vallejo, California shot and killed 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa as he knelt, firing at the young man five times through his windshield.
Although peaceful protests dominated the day, some individuals had taken advantage of the unrest to begin looting stores, and officers were responding to a call at a local Walgreens when Monterrosa exited.
According to Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Willians, it appeared Monterrosa was going to get into a "getaway vehicle" before changing his mind. Police have no evidence to link him to the vehicle or the looting.
Monterrosa then knelt down and put his hands up. That's when the officer, whose name has not been released, saw what he thought was the butt of a gun.
It turned out to be a hammer.
The officer has been put on leave, but Chief Williams seems to be defending the officer's actions, saying he perceived a "credible threat," and claiming that the suspect made a move toward his waist.
There was no threat to the officer's life. The officer was in his vehicle, Monterossa was outside, many feet from the cruiser, on his knees.
"He did not see Mr. Monterrosa put his hands on it in a threatening way. So the question here is what threat, if any, did he actually present," says attorney John Burris, who is representing the Monterrosa family.
This is why tens of thousands are protesting in the streets.
In police departments across the nation, policemen are allowed to use lethal force in any situation, without warning, and without even attempting to de-escalate the situation. They are not required to report use of force, or to intervene when they witness another officer using excessive force.
Basically, police can shoot first and ask questions later, with impunity.
Even after police reforms have been passed, as they have been in Minneapolis, wrongful deaths at the hands of police continue.
You think you're safe because you're not trying to pay for groceries with a counterfeit twenty? Think again.
Breonna Taylor and Ismael Lopez were both shot dead in their own homes. Both were cases of "mistaken identity."
The only person charged in either case was Breonna's boyfriend, for shooting to defend himself when police forced their way into his home.
Whether Sean was part of the looting or not, he did not pose a threat to officers. Shoplifting should not be a death sentence.
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time should not be a death sentence.
Being a person of color SHOULD NOT BE A DEATH SENTENCE.
Check out 8CantWait.org for more information about how to protect our communities from police brutality.